News

US Embassy Manila Overseas Voter Assistance

We are proud to report that the US Embassy in Manila is conducting voter assistance events for the entire month of October starting October 14! The embassy will help you with the printing of FWAB ballots and the mailing of completed ballots back to the US. Registration is required, and the events are on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, you can check out this link.


DAPH September 27 General Meeting

Our next general meeting will take place on Sunday September 27 at 2:30PM PHT via Zoom. Anyone who is interested can contact the chair, Lisa Pagkalinawan, by email at da-ph@democratsabroad.org. Also, the minutes for the August 30 General Meeting can be found here. We hope to see you soon!


DA Philippines August 16 General Meeting Agenda

Democrats Abroad Philippines

Sunday August 16 from 2:30-3:30 pm

Online via Zoom

* * *

  1. Welcome and confirmation of a quorum
  2. Introductions
  3. Minutes from the Annual General Meeting on January 18, 2020 (link)
    1. Approval
    2. Business arising
      1. Omar volunteered to reach out to Rappler for ad posting
      2. Bing volunteered to reach out to AmCham
      3. Jay volunteered to make an announcement during a Rotary meeting
      4. Portable Medicare – Omar and Jay - reach out Eric Lachica and Loida Lewis
      5. Jay volunteered to reach out to the embassy and request them to host an event to help raise awareness about the upcoming election
      6. Lisa volunteered to ask the US Embassy about help needed by Americans detained in the Bicutan Immigration Detention Facility
      7. Lisa to follow up with Jay if he is interested to organize a Quezon City ward.
      8. Send a cleaned up version of the by-laws to Democrats Abroad International and post on DAPh website.
  4. Highlights of the past seven months
    1. 2nd Progressive Drinking event held February 18th
    2. Global Presidential Primary
    3. Database cleanup
    4. Calling campaign
    5. Asia Pacific virtual pub quiz
    6. Mailing voting materials through the embassy
    7. Zoom Drop-In Sundays
    8. FilAms4Biden.com
    9. Facebook paid ads and boosts ($300 grant)
    10. Thanks to Nancy for posting daily on our Facebook page and tweeting!
    11. Thanks to Brian for doing the following singlehandedly – we need more people!
      1. Database updates
      2. Website posts
      3. Emails to members
  5. Membership Management Committee – any updates?
  6. Get Out the Vote
    1. Urge all US citizens you know to register ASAP (training video is available here)
    2. Join calling campaign for swing states
    3. Sign up as a Voting Champion here
    4. Sign up at www.FilAms4Biden.com
    5. Volunteer for Zoom Drop-In Sundays
    6. Reach out to groups/organizations you know, join FB groups and share info
    7. Donate $20.20 and get a chance to win prizes here
    8. Donate to support phonebanking here (choose phonebanking under purpose, it closes August 20)
    9. Volunteer to create a DAPH Instagram account and post updates
    10. Volunteer to contact DAPH members who vote in swing states that require registration forms to be mailed
  7. Upcoming
    1. August 22 – Screening of Capturing the Flag movie (trailer available here) Saturday from 9 to 10:45 am (have to RSVP, donations optional and appreciated, details to follow)
    2. August 28 – Reading of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech – Friday (57th anniversary)
    3. September 19 – Ballot release day
    4. September 22 – Ballot return day (recommended)
    5. October 1 – If you haven’t received your ballot, submit a write in ballot (FWAB) (ballots mailed after this date may not reach your election official in time)
  8. Other business
  9. Date of next meeting

Get out the vote!

Sign up as a Voting Champion at https://sites.google.com/view/voting-champion-toolkit/start-here - it just takes a few minutes and is an excellent way to encourage your friends, family and other contacts to register and vote. There are around 350,000 to 400,000 US citizens living in the Philippines. If each one of us reaches out to three contacts, and they reach out to three contacts, we can reach them all in 11 to 12 iterations.


Sending Mail to the US

The Philippine Post Office is currently not sending mail to the US. If your state requires you to send your Federal Post Card Application (used to register to vote and request your absentee ballot), you may send it to the US Embassy. Insure that it is in a postage paid envelope (available here) addressed to your local election official. You will need to put the postage paid envelope in another enveloped addressed to:

American Citizen Services Unit (Consular)

ATTN: Voter Information U.S. Embassy Manila

1201 Roxas Boulevard

Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000

You may also drop it off at either of these locations:

U.S. Embassy in Manila

Public Entrance

1201 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Manila

8:00 am - 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday, except holidays

* * *

Veterans Affairs Regional Manila Office

1501 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Manila

7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, except holidays

It may take 4-6 weeks for mail to reach the US. Therefore, send in your registration form as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact DA Philippines Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan at lisa.pgk@gmail.com or 0917-892-2989.


By-Laws Amended January 18, 2020

DEMOCRATS ABROAD PHILIPPINES

BY-LAWS

Adopted by the Membership on February 7, 2007

Amended by the Membership on March 22, 2010

Amended by the Membership on January 18, 2020

 

Article I

Name

1. These by-laws have been enacted by an organization having as its name:

Democrats Abroad Philippines (DAPH)

Article II

Purpose and Relationship to Democrats Abroad

2.1 The organization is a Country Committee within Democrats Abroad, which is administered by the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA).

2.2 The purposes of the organization are to advance the interests of the Democratic Party of the United States and of Democrats Abroad and to provide for appropriate action by its supporters residing in Philippines.

Article III

Members

3.1 Members must be citizens of the United States, of voting age, who subscribe to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States and of Democrats Abroad and are resident in the Philippines. A member who by her or his actions demonstrates that she or he no longer subscribes to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States and of Democrats Abroad may be excluded from membership by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Executive Committee; provided however that such vote may only be taken after the member has been given reasonable notice of the Executive Committee’s intention to exclude the member and has had reasonable opportunity to contest the proposed action by the Executive Committee.

3.2 To the greatest extent possible, all the various elements of the Democratic Party and of the United States Democratic community in the Philippines shall be represented within the organization.

3.3 The current list of members as maintained by the Secretary pursuant to Article VIII shall be delivered to the appropriate officers of the DPCA no later than January 30 of each year in such form and format as the DPCA shall from time to time require.

3.4 By becoming a member of Democrats Abroad Philippines each member of the organization consents to the delivery of his/her name, mail and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers (as applicable) and U.S. voting district/state and other information contained on the membership list of the organization to the DPCA and to such lawful use thereof as the DPCA shall make from time to time. Membership in Democrats Abroad Philippines automatically results in membership in Democrats Abroad.

3.5 Membership records shall be kept confidential, and they shall not be available to any person other than members of the Democrats Abroad Philippines Executive Committee, DPCA, or Democrats Abroad Philippines members with designated responsibility in connection with elections or database management. All individuals with access to membership data shall sign and adhere to the terms of the current DPCA Confidentiality Agreement. No use of the membership database is permitted for purposes other than those related to the activities of the Democratic Party, of Democrats Abroad, or of Democrats Abroad Philippines. No candidate for any office may use or access the membership database directly for the purposes of campaigning for office or soliciting votes or proxies.

Article IV

Cessation of Membership

4. Any member shall cease to be a member if he/she no longer meets the qualifications of a member. Any such former member may be reinstated on the same conditions as a new member.

Article V

Officers

5. The Officers of the organization shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. If possible, the officers shall be gender-balanced. However, the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson must not be the same sex. For the purposes of this section, the term “sex” is defined as male, female, intersex, or any other classification of sex or gender that is legally recognized by any state or federal jurisdiction within the United States of America.

Article VI

Chairperson

6. The Chairperson shall be the chief executive officer of the organization, shall call and preside at all meetings of members and of the Executive Committee, and shall have responsibility for all activities approved by the organization. The Chairperson shall sit ex-officio on all committees of the organization, if committees are formed, with full voting privileges. The Chairperson will be responsible for coordinating with appropriate international and regional elements of Democrats Abroad, or may designate a member of the Executive Committee to assume that role.

Article VII

Vice-Chairperson

7. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chairperson shall have such other duties as the Chairperson shall define.

Article VIII

Secretary

8. The Secretary shall maintain a current list of members of the organization (containing the name, mail and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers and U.S. voting district/state and such other information as the DPCA may from time to time require), minutes of all meetings, and all files and administrative records of the organization. All such records shall be open for inspection by members, provided they have signed a confidentiality agreement or serve in an official capacity whereby they have a need to know. (see 3.5, above)

Article IX

Treasurer

9. The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the organization, maintain its financial reports and make and maintain such financial reports as may be required by law (including without limitation the laws and regulations of the United States and the several states applicable to political parties and contributions to them) or required by Democrats Abroad. All such records shall be open for inspection by members

Article X

DPCA Voting Representative(s)

10. The DPCA Voting Representative(s) shall be nominated and elected at each Annual General Meeting with Regular Elections. The number of DPCA Voting Representative(s) are allocated to Democrats Abroad Philippines by the International Secretary as stipulated in the DPCA Charter and are elected to represent Democrats Abroad Philippines at international meetings and other official DPCA functions. Democrats Abroad Philippines shall elect at least the minimum number of Voting Representative(s) necessary to enable it to cast all its votes. Democrats Abroad Philippines DPCA Voting Representative(s) shall be elected in a manner in which gender balance is achieved. Democrats Abroad Philippines DPCA Voting Representative(s) may be elected to other positions within Democrats Abroad Philippines except Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson. A DPCA Voting Representative has no voting status on the Democrats Abroad Philippines Executive Committee unless the DPCA Voting Representative also holds a position detailed in Article XI (Executive Committee).

Article XI

Executive Committee

11.1 The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer elected from among the eligible members of the organization.

11.2 The Executive Committee shall meet at regular intervals upon call by the Chairperson, for the purpose of consulting with and/or advising the Chairperson in the administration of the organization. A meeting of the Executive Committee may be also be called by one-half of the Executive Committee.

Article XII

DPCA Voting Delegation

12. DAPH’s DPCA Voting Delegation consists of those persons who have been elected to represent DAPH within the DPCA, and who hold the right to vote in the DPCA. These persons are the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and DPCA Voting Representative(s). The DAPH Voting Delegation shall be gender balanced as defined in Article V. No person voting for DAPH shall carry more than one (1) vote, excluding any proxy votes allowed by the DPCA charter.

Article XIII

Committees

13.1 The Chairperson may create one or more ad hoc committees, with such functions and responsibilities as he/she shall designate. These committees may include Membership/Voter Registration, Issues, Programs/Special Events, Fund-Raising and Newsletter/ Communications.

13.2 The Chairperson shall appoint and remove the chairpersons of the ad hoc committees subject to ratification by the members of the Executive Committee at the next meeting of the Executive Committee or general meeting following such appointments or revocation. The membership of each ad hoc committee shall be selected by the committee chairperson after consultation with the Chairperson.

13.3 Meetings of all committees shall be open to all members of the organization.

Article XIV

Other Officers

14.1 The Chairperson may appoint and remove assistant officers or honorary officers, having such duties as he/she shall designate, subject to ratification by the members of the Executive Committee at the next Executive Committee or general meeting.

14.2 Previously elected Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons shall serve as honorary officers and may be included as ex officio members of the Executive Committee upon such appointment by the Chairperson, subject to ratification by the members of the Executive Committee.

Article XV

Terms

15.1 The Executive Committee Officers shall be elected every two years at the Annual General Meeting of the organization (which shall be held no later than June 30). They shall be elected for a term expiring upon the election of their successor.

15.2 The terms of all ad hoc committee chairpersons shall automatically expire upon the election of new officers in accordance with the foregoing paragraph.

15.3 Any officer who misses four consecutive regularly called Executive Committee or general meetings may be removed from office by a three-fourths vote of the entire Executive Committee at a regularly called and quorate meeting at which the question of such removal is on the agenda sent out in advance and at which the officer is given due opportunity to explain the reasons for her or his absence.

Article XVI

Elections and Removal from Office

16.1 The officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected by a majority of votes of the members voting at the Annual General Meeting (or in the case of a vacancy, at the general meeting at which the election is held). In accordance with Democratic Party and DPCA policy, there is no secret ballot voting in DAPH elections.

16.2 Any officer of the Executive Committee may be removed from office by a vote of two-thirds of those present at a duly convened meeting of the membership.

16.3 Nominations and Elections Committee: At least two months prior to the Annual General Meeting of an election year, a Nominations and Elections Committee (hereinafter “NEC”) shall be named by the Chairperson with the approval of the Executive Committee. The members of the NEC shall elect a chair from among its appointed members. All NEC members shall be subject to the obligations of confidentiality (pursuant to Article 3.5). This committee shall be empowered to receive nominations of members for elected officer positions from the membership and to make nominations, with assent of the nominated member, for any open position. The nominations committee shall not exclude any eligible member as a candidate. Nominations may be taken from the floor of the annual meeting (or in the case of a vacancy, at the general meeting at which the election is held).

16.4 Nominations Invitation: The NEC shall notify its nominations to the membership no less than 30 days prior to the Annual General Meeting (or in the case of a vacancy, at the general meeting at which the election is held).

16.5 Candidate Presentations: The NEC shall ensure that nominated candidates have reasonable and equitable opportunity to present their candidacy, qualifications, and platform prior to the elections. The NEC shall ensure adequate distribution of all such information to the membership, including posting on the DAPH website.

Article XVII

Vacancies

17. Any vacancy among the officers of the Executive Committee may be filled by special election held at any subsequent meeting of the members of the organization in accordance with Article XVI hereof. Until such vacancy is filled, the Chairperson may appoint at his or her discretion a member to fill the vacancy on a temporary basis. Any officer elected at a special election shall serve only until the next regular election. If the position of Chairperson becomes vacant for whatever reason, the Vice-Chairperson shall succeed to the office of Chairperson and the office of Vice-Chairperson shall be managed per this Article. Any Vice-Chairperson succeeding to the office of Chairperson shall serve only until the election of her or his successor at the next regular election.

Article XVIII

Notice

18.1 Notices of Annual General Meetings, meetings at which elections will be held and meetings to amend these by-laws shall be distributed at least 30 days before the meeting, by such method as the Chairperson shall reasonably prescribe. Notice of other meetings of members and of the Executive Committee shall be given by such method as the Chairperson shall reasonably prescribe.

18.2 These by-laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the DAPH, present or represented at a regularly constituted meeting of the DAPH. Written text of any proposed amendments shall be distributed in advance of the general meeting where such amendments will be discussed or voted upon.

Article XIX

Meetings

19.1 An Annual General Meeting of members shall be held no later than June 30 of each year and shall act upon the following: (i) approval of the accounts and the report of the Chairperson and the Treasurer for the preceding calendar year, (ii) in election years, the election of the officers of the Executive Committee, and (iii) such other business as the Chairperson shall deem appropriate.

19.2 Other meetings of the membership may be held from time to time upon call by (i) the Chairperson, (ii) one-half of the Executive Committee or (iii) 10% of the membership who request the holding of a meeting.

19.3 All meetings of the membership, the Executive Committee, and ad hoc committees (if any) shall be open to the membership and conducted in accordance with these by-laws (including the provisions on notice).

19.4 Meetings of Democrats Abroad Philippines may be held in person, by telephone, videoconference, or such electronic means as the Executive Committee may from time to time unanimously approve.

19.5 For the purposes hereof, a quorum shall be determined as follows.

(i) for meetings of the membership, at least 8 members.

(ii) for meetings of the Executive Committee, and Standing Committee or any ad hoc committee, one-half of the members of such committee.

19.6 All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order.

Article XX

Rules Applicable to DAPH

20. The functioning of DAPH shall be governed by (i) these by-laws and such rules as the Executive Committee may from time to time adopt and (ii) the by-laws of Democrats Abroad and the charter and by-laws of the Democratic Party of the United States and such rules and regulations as Democrats Abroad and/or the Democratic Party of the United States shall adopt from time to time. In the event of a conflict between (A) these by-laws and the rules referred to in sub-clause (i) of the previous sentence and (B) the documents, rules and regulations referred to in sub-clause (ii) of the previous sentence, the documents, rules and regulations of such sub-clause (ii) shall prevail.

--

Democrats Abroad (DA) is the official Democratic Party arm for nine million US citizens--civilian and military--living outside the United States. Our goals are to mobilize the overseas vote to elect Democratic candidates and help Americans abroad amplify issues that matter to them. We are best equipped than any organization to help overseas Americans engage in the US political process because the Democratic national party or Democratic Party known as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) recognizes us as an official "state" party. With DNC state-level recognition, we: (1) hold an official Democratic presidential primary, (2) help select the Democratic presidential candidate by also sending a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to represent DA Primary Voters and help decide the national party’s nominee for president, (3) represent US citizens abroad at all DNC meetings because we elect eight DA Members to hold eight positions on the Democratic National Committee to represent us, and (4) are the only official US political party of American citizens abroad because the Republican Party does not have an equivalent organization of this status. We work to reach as many US citizens as possible, in as many ways as possible, to ensure they have opportunities to stay engaged in the US political process and presidential election. In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats Abroad helped grow the civilian overseas vote by 322% over the 2014 midterms. This year, we expect to help more than one million voters vote overseas, and win Democratic elections back home.

Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Press contact: email Democrats Abroad Philippines da-ph@democratsabroad.org

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Annual General Meeting January 18, 2020 & Annual Report 2019

Photo shows (left to right) Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines (DAPH) Makati Ward Omar Tiwana; Member Gabriel Demombynes; former Vice-Chair Gene Boggs; Members David Kuchenbecker, Jasmine Tiwana, James Savage and Vladimir Manuel; Events Committee Donald Goertzen; Secretary Bing Ganchero-Gelman, Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan; former Chair John Boyd; Vice-Chair Angelo Goode; Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator Brian Borlongan; Members Angela Reyes and Jon Sachs; Treasurer Kathleen Bergeron-Guido; and former Philippines Treasurer and Singapore Vice-Chair Bill Gelman at the DAPH Annual General Meeting on Saturday January 18, 2020 at the Elks Club in Makati City.

Annual General Meeting 2020

DA Philippines held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday January 18, 2020 from 3:30-5:30pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. We reported on activities held in 2019, elected a new secretary, voted on and passed our amended By-Laws (which former Philippines Treasurer and Singapore Vice-Chair Bill Gelman has been working on since 2015, and thanks Asia-Pacific Regional Vice-Chair Kat Allikian of DA New Zealand for all your detailed help), and discussed activities for 2020. Minutes here.

New Secretary

Congratulations new Secretary Elvie "Bing" Ganchero-Gelman! Bing has been a member of Democrats Abroad Philippines since 2013. When she and her husband former Treasurer Bill moved to Singapore in 2014, they both continued to take an active role in DA Singapore (known as DA Lion City), where Bill served as Singapore Vice-Chair. While living in Washington DC in 2018, Bing volunteered to reach out to members of congress to establish legislation for equitable tax treatment of US citizens living abroad. She has over 20 years experience working in community and business sustainability space, driving nonprofits and multinational companies toward implementing sustainable strategies that deliver measurable business and social outcomes in the Asia-Pacific region.

Annual Report 2019

Meetings

Our 2019 AGM was held on Saturday January 19, 2019 at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City (hereafter Elks Club). During the year, three General Meetings were held all on Saturdays at the Elks Club on:

  1. April 6, 2019
  2. July 6, 2019--where we also celebrated Pride, Independence Day, and the 154th Juneteenth anniversary
  3. October 26, 2019--where we also celebrated Halloween.

Officers

At the end of 2019, we had the following Executive Committee officers:

  • Chairperson: Lisa Pagkalinawan
  • Vice-Chairperson: Angelo Goode
  • Secretary: Maurice "Morrie" Kayanan (resigned Thursday December 12, 2019 due to health)
  • Treasurer: Kathleen Bergeron-Guido
  • Ex-Officio members of the Executive Committee: Donald Goertzen, Anita Celdran and Mary Ellen de Jesus

Events

We held 12 events:

  1. 1st Database Clean-Up on Saturday February 2, 2019 at Launch Lab Test Kitchen, Unit 201, 2nd Floor, Renaissance Building, 215 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City--Although we did not work on updating our database of members previously, since the beginning of 2019 members consistently volunteered for the effort and we have made important progress.
  2. Tax Seminar on Saturday April 13, 2019 at the Elks Club--Manrkē’s Asia Pacific CEO Richard Medalla explained who is required to file US income taxes, Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reports. He also presented common challenges facing Americans abroad in complying with US tax reporting requirements, and answered questions from the audience.
  3. Memorial Day on Sunday May 26, 2019 at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City--We participated in commemorating Memorial Day, organized by the American Association of the Philippines in coordination with the US Embassy Manila, to honor Americans and Filipinos who fell and went missing in World War II. As DA Global Chair Julia Bryan suggested, our members donated a handsome commemorative wreath designed around lovely red anthurium flowers. To raise money for the wreath, GOTV Coordinator Brian created a GoFundMe page under the direction of former Secretary and Communications Manager Morrie, and which Vice-Chair Angelo posted on social media. The GoFundMe page showed a panoramic view of the Manila American Cemetery and a historic photograph of General Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines. The words read: "In World War II, Douglas MacArthur promised the Philippines, 'I shall return!' He and America kept its word at the cost of more than 17,058 of its young men and women. These American and Filipino Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Doctors and Nurses, made the final sacrifice and have been laid to rest in the Manila American Cemetery. An additional 36,286 are still Missing In Action. Help us honor these souls on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, please give to our cause to fund a wreath for them. God bless all who sacrifice for freedom." Global Chair Julia featured our photo on her Facebook feed and it was also included on DA's main homepage among Memorial Day photos of France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
  4. 1st 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Watch on Thursday June 27 and Friday June 28, 2019 at Union Jack Tavern, 105 VA Rufino corner Esteban Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City (hereafter Union Jack Tavern).
  5. 2nd 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Watch on Wednesday July 31 and Thursday August 1, 2019 at Union Jack Tavern.
  6. Potluck on Saturday August 10, 2019 at The Palisades, 107 Perea Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City--Hosted by Secretary Bing at her condominium building's function room, members had fun enjoying popcorn, quesadillas, potato gratin, chili, pancit (Filipino stir-fried noodles), carrot cake, chocolate walnut cookies, fruit, and wine among others. The question of how DA can help tear-gassed Americans in Hong Kong was raised by a visiting professor of Western political thought.
  7. 3rd 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Watch and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Postcard Writing on Friday September 13, 2019 at Handlebar, 31 Polaris Street, Makati City--At our third debate watch party, we also wrote and sent 50 postcards to Virginia voters to help elect Democrats who would support Virginia's ratification of ERA. As attendance at our three debate watch parties was minimal, we stopped hosting until sufficient interest arises.
  8. 2nd Database Clean-Up on Saturday September 28, 2019 at the Elks Club--From December 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019, we went from 62% to 78% of our members being valid, which means they will be included in the January 31, 2020 membership count. This is a big improvement because we now only have 179 members excluded from our count. In an effort to further increase our number of valid members before the January 31, 2020 membership count, we asked volunteers to try to call or text any of these people, or search for them on Facebook to see if they are still in the Philippines.
  9. Veterans Day on Monday November 11, 2019 at Clark Veterans Cemetery in Clark Free Port Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga Province--Organized by former Chair John Boyd (hereafter John B), several members participated in the Veterans Day ceremony in Clark, visited grave sites of many soldiers, had lunch at Clark's local Veterans Lodge with veterans and their families and friends, and met Democrats in the area. We informed Global Chair Julia of our participation by email and emailed photos to comms@democratsabroad.org.
  10. Lecture on the Balangiga Bells and the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines by American and Filipino Forces on Saturday November 16, 2019 at the Elks Club--Retired US Foreign Service Officer and Filipino-American Memorial Endowment (FAME) Board Member Dan Larsen gave a history talk about the Balangiga Bells, which are three church bells the US Army took from the Church of San Lorenzo de Martir in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, following the Balangiga massacre in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. After over a century, the bells are back in the Philippines. Larsen's presentation and discussion examined the twists and turns involved in the history of US custody of these war trophies and their delayed return to the Philippines 117 years after the end of the 1898-1901 Philippine-American War. Taken in 1901 from a Philippine church belfry destroyed on Samar Province, their delayed return closed a long-standing irritant in US-Philippine relations. Larsen also talked about the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Philippines during World War II, which was MacArthurs return to Leyte in October 1944, and reviewed ways to participate in commemorating events leading up to General Yamashita's September 1945 surrender and the end of the war.
  11. Progressive Drinking on Wednesday November 20, 2019 at La Petite Parisienne, LPL Center (San Agustin Street), 130 Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City--To further mobilize our membership because our members are physically distanced spanning cities and provinces throughout the archipelago, several members would like to explore implementing a Ward System, which assigns a point person per geographic area tasked to lead mobilizing a subgroup of our members located in that geographic location. This Ward System may also encourage creation of Philippine Chapters. Although recruiting suitable volunteers as Ward point persons is challenging, GOTV Coordinator Brian prepared geographic member lists for (1) Cebu, (2) Makati, (3) Mandaluyong, (4) Manila and (5) Taguig, and Chair Lisa assigned former Secretary Omar Tiwana as Makati Ward. This Progressive Drinking event, organized by Makati Ward Omar and Secretary Bing, for our Makati Ward members is hopefully the first of many toward better knowing Democrats in Makati City to develop specific activities and initiatives based on the felt needs of the members of this geographic subgroup.
  12. Thanksgiving on Thursday November 28, 2019 at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration Detention Center, Lower Bicutan, Taguig City--Every year on Thanksgiving Day, we endeavor to visit American detainees and if the Warden consents in advance, bring them supplies like food, reading materials, and other necessities (Wardens often serve for just a year or so). We continue to provide support for a few incarcerated Americans, with former Chair John B and Member David Kuchenbecker making regular visits with logistical support from Chair Lisa. David's efforts to compile a list of detainees and offer assistance is commendable. Chair Lisa delivered a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and mashed potatoes for the detainees courtesy of members' donations, and former Chair John B brought apples, soap and small towels. Following is a thank you message from a previous detainee to former Chair John B: "Thank you for coming to visit us at Bicutan Detention Center. I was unjustly held there for two and half months and I am grateful for your visits. The washcloths that you provided me helped me to keep clean, which is a dauntingly difficult task when imprisoned. Most importantly, was the fact that you visited. It gave us hope knowing that there was somebody out there."

Membership

As of December 31, 2019, we had 836 members, of which 78% were valid. To be considered "valid," members must meet the following conditions:

  1. Be approved as a member
  2. Have a local street address and/or local phone number
  3. Be verified as still living in the Philippines within the past four years.

Social Media

For social media, Annual Report 2019 focuses on the last quarter of the year because we can assume it is representative of the whole year:

  1. Facebook (FB)--We kept our page active and received regular engagement, measured through numbers of clicks and shared articles from our page. As of January 11, 2020, 297 people like our page and 321 follow it. Followers receive every post in their own feeds. In the final quarter of 2019, we posted 20 announcements, reminders and reports of our activities, including meetings and events; eight articles specifically related to voting and registration through VoteFromAbroad.org; 34 links to articles of general interest to Democrat voters and/or Filipino Americans or American Filipinos; and seven funny or sad memes. Former Treasurer Irene Donohue and FB Editor Joan Corpuz actively found and posted a variety of interesting material. Social Media Manager Nancy Longatan focused on monitoring comments and event announcements, as well as material from VoteFromAbroad.org and DA. We assisted one person who inquired through Facebook for help in registering to vote.
  2. Twitter--We focused our tweets on event announcements and reminders. At the end of 2019, we had 48 followers, followed 147 entities, and made 24 tweets in the last three months.

Next Activities

  1. Progressive Drinking on Tuesday February 18, 2020 from 6-8pm at La Petite Parisienne, LPL Center (San Agustin Street), 130 Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  2. Global Presidential Primary (GPP) on Saturday March 7, 2020 from 2-5pm at Profiles Asia Pacific Inc, One Magnificent Mile-CITRA Building, 39 San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
  3. General Meeting on Saturday March 28, 2020 from 3:30-5:30pm the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
  4. Tax Advocacy Panel on Saturday April 25, 2020 from 3:30-5pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Democrats Abroad (DA) is the official Democratic Party arm for nine million US citizens--civilian and military--living outside the United States. Our goals are to mobilize the overseas vote to elect Democratic candidates and help Americans abroad amplify issues that matter to them. We are best equipped than any organization to help overseas Americans engage in the US political process because the Democratic national party or Democratic Party known as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) recognizes us as an official "state" party. With DNC state-level recognition, we: (1) hold an official Democratic presidential primary, (2) help select the Democratic presidential candidate by also sending a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to represent DA Primary Voters and help decide the national party’s nominee for president, (3) represent US citizens abroad at all DNC meetings because we elect eight DA Members to hold eight positions on the Democratic National Committee to represent us, and (4) are the only official US political party of American citizens abroad because the Republican Party does not have an equivalent organization of this status. We work to reach as many US citizens as possible, in as many ways as possible, to ensure they have opportunities to stay engaged in the US political process and presidential election. In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats Abroad helped grow the civilian overseas vote by 322% over the 2014 midterms. This year, we expect to help more than one million voters vote overseas, and win Democratic elections back home.

Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Press contact: email Democrats Abroad Philippines da-ph@democratsabroad.org

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Thanksgiving 2019

Photo shows (left to right) Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines former Chair John Boyd, Member Jon Sachs, Chair Lisa Pagkalinawan, former DA Lion City (Singapore) Vice-Chair Bill Gelman, and Member David Kuchenbecker visiting American detainees on November 28, 2019 at the Bureau of Immigration Detention Center in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving Day Thursday November 28, 2019 from 9am-12nn, DA Philippines visited the Philippine Bureau of Immigration Detention Center in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.

Every year for Thanksgiving, we endeavor to visit American detainees and if the Warden consents in advance, bring them supplies like food, reading materials and other necessities (Wardens often serve for just a year or so).

We’ve continued to provide support for a few incarcerated Americans, with former Chair John B and Member David making regular visits with logistical support from Chair Lisa. Thanks David for your efforts to compile a list of detainees and offer assistance!

This year Chair Lisa delivered a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and mashed potatoes for the detainees thanks to everyone's donations, and former Chair John B brought apples, soap and small towels.

Here’s a thank you letter from a previous detainee:

Thank you for coming to visit us at Bicutan Detention Center. I was unjustly held there for two and half months and I am grateful for your visits. The washcloths that you provided me helped me to keep clean, which is a dauntingly difficult task when imprisoned. Most importantly, was the fact that you visited. It gave us hope knowing that there was somebody out there.

Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.

Press contact: email Democrats Abroad Philippines da-ph@democratsabroad.org

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Progressive Drinking November 20, 2019

Photo shows Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines Makati Ward Omar Tiwana, Events Committee Member Bing Gelman, and former DA Lion City (Singapore) Vice-Chair Bill Gelman, with other Democrats, progressive drinking on November 20, 2019 at La Petite Parisienne, Makati City.

DA Philippines held our second "Progressive Drinking" event on Wednesday November 20, 2019 from 5-7pm at La Petite Parisienne, LPL Center, 130 Leviste St, Salcedo Village, Makati City.

We got to know Democrats in the area better toward developing specific activities or initiatives based on the felt needs of our members.

Hopefully many more of these get-togethers to follow!

Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.

Press contact: email Democrats Abroad Philippines da-ph@democratsabroad.org

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Balangiga Bells & 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines

Photos by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines Events Committee Member Bing Gelman shows Speaker Dan Larsen presenting his history talk on the Balangiga Bells with information about the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines by American and Filipino forces to attendees on November 16, 2019 at the Elks Club, Makati City.

DA Philippines held a speaker event history talk on the Balangiga Bells with information about the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines by American and Filipino forces (Leyte Landing) on Saturday November 16, 2019 from 3:30-5:30pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, given by retired US Foreign Service Officer and Filipino-American Memorial Endowment (FAME) Board Member Dan Larsen.

The Balangiga Bells are three church bells the US Army took from the Church of San Lorenzo de Martir in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, Philippines, following the Balangiga massacre in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. After over a century, the Bells are back in the Philippines.

Larsen's presentation and discussion examined the twists and turns involved in the history of US custody of these war trophies and their delayed return to the Philippines 117 years after the end of the 1898-1901 Philippine-American War. Taken in 1901 from a Philippine church belfry destroyed on Samar Province--not by war, but by retaliations--their delayed return closed a long-standing irritant in US-Philippine relations.

75 years--and some still remember--the Philippines and the United States commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines during World War II, from MacArthur's return in Leyte in October 1944 until General Yamashita's September 1945 surrender. Larsen also reviewed ways to participate in commemorating events leading up to the end of that war.

Visit Democrats Abroad Philippines homepage, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.

Press contact: email Democrats Abroad Philippines da-ph@democratsabroad.org

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